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Frederick News

Posted on: April 26, 2023

City publishes first draft of form-based code


The City of Frederick's Department of Planning is pleased to announce the publishing of the first of the East Street Form-Based Code for public review and to get feedback from the community. 

The form-based code can be viewed here.

What is a Form-Based Code? 

Form-Based Code (FBC) is a zoning regulation that guides how developments and buildings relate to the public realm first, and only secondarily to what uses occur inside them. Its purpose is to design a particular type of place or built environment entirely based on the community’s vision and desire.  


  • Promote high-quality structures, streetscape, urban design public realm within an urban context.
  • Encourage all development types for a unified and attractive environment. This code is intended to provide requirements and guidance, mainly in graphic form, in accordance and to implement the vision of the community. 
  • Create an identifiable neighborhood/corridor environment and provide customer experience opportunities for existing and new nonresidential users.
  • Support public infrastructure upgrade, extension, and beautification opportunities.
  • Build upon established anchor uses and areas. 
  • Promote differentiated and unique ideas that can provide a sense of place and destination while encouraging new and expanded development in the corridor.
  • Continue to support citizen-based initiatives to improve the east side of Frederick and create opportunities for resident representation in the area.

Public Participation

Community members are highly encouraged to participate by studying the first draft of the code and providing feedback and comments. The City will schedule 4 meetings to discuss different aspects of the FBC. While the dates have not been established yet, these are proposed topics for each meeting. Please check the Form-Based Code webpage for more information on the project.


1st:   Overview: 1. Intro, 2. Regulating Plan. What Kind of Place will the FBC Foster?  5. Public Realm. The Street-Spaces specified for the East Frederick FBC.  

2nd: 4. Architectural Standards. Parameters for Architectural Materials & Configurations.

3rd:  3. Building Form Standards. Rules for Building Form & Function in 3 Dimensions.  7. Functions allowed uses and vertical zoning.

4th:  6. Parking & Loading.  8. Administration the Process.


This is the opportunity to provide your feedback and ask questions about the first draft of the Form-Based Code. Once the public comment meetings have finished, this will be taken up by the Planning Commission and the mayor and Board of Aldermen.


The project may change during the review process. Please check with the Division of Planning to confirm the meeting dates. Comments on this plan can be mailed or emailed to the Planning Department and the Planner listed below.


Project Website:



Arash Ghahramani, Urban Designer


Planning Department

The City of Frederick

140 West Patrick Street, Frederick, MD 21701

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